Teen Retreat and Harvest Festival Service Project: September 28-30, 2012 (Palo Alto, CA)

You’re invited……

Teen Retreat and Harvest Festival Service Project
for High School Aged Teens, and FAPs
September 28-30, 2012
Palo Alto Meetinghouse
Start: Friday 4pm / End: Sunday 12pm

Register or inquire by emailing Barbara Maloney, Parent
and Friendly Adult Presence: barbara [at] kinecht [dot] com

Needed ASAP: registration, forms, and you!

Please read the invitation letter below for details.

_____________

Dear High School Aged Teens of Pacific Yearly Meeting,

Please join us for a fantastic service project and retreat weekend at Palo Alto Meeting September 28-30, 2012. Help us run our annual Harvest Festival fundraiser and then stick around for more social and reflection time!

In case you haven’t heard, the Harvest Festival is a marvelous day of music, fun, food, face painting, and sales of toys, rummage, baked goods, jewelry, books etc. It is also the largest fundraiser held in support of Friends Committee on Legislation of California (FCLCA). We teens are very much needed to help set up on Friday evening starting at 4pm, hang out and assist a bit during the 9am-4pm event on Saturday, and then throw ourselves into the clean up and tear down. We have a tradition of celebrating with a pizza party at the end. Saturday evening is for deepening friendships and learning more about the social justice issues that FCLCA is involved in. We’ll finish up on Sunday morning and depart around noon.

(For any of us who have to keep an eye on homework, we are reserving areas for study and quiet time all Saturday.)

This is a very important project to support in our Quaker community and one that is also a lot of fun. We do hope that you will join us. We will begin helping on Friday at 4pm so come as soon as you can make it.

To sign up or learn more please contact Barbara Maloney, parent and Friendly Adult Presence, at barbara@kinecht.com, and fill out the 3 release forms (see below).

Please share this announcement with high school teens and parents/guardians throughout PYM. Meetings: please help your teens with transportation and registration costs if possible.

Some meals will be provided for volunteers during the fundraiser, and our group will arrange our other meals (pizza!). We suggest that you bring some spending money for great deals and delicious lunch and baked goods during the festival. $20-$30 should be enough for the whole weekend.

If you need community service hours or just love to volunteer, you will get A LOT of that. If you like to go bargain hunting or hang out with your favorite Quaker teens, this is the place to be. If you like good food, bake sales, and lemonade, then come along! Really, there is something for everyone.

The Palo Alto Friends Meeting Teen Group:
Daniel, Elizabeth, Nathan, Rachel, Rose,  & Thea

Barbara Maloney, Parent and Friendly Adult Presence
barbara [at] kinecht [dot] com


FORMS TO FILL OUT:
(Please email Barbara right away to say you’re coming, and then follow up with these forms by email or bring printed, signed copies with you. Thanks!) 

1) Parent_Consent_Form_Harvest_Festival_2012 (PDF)

2) Medical_Form_PAFM_Teen_Retreat (PDF)

3) Photo_Release (PDF) [Needed only if you haven’t previously submitted a photo release, or if you would like to change your choice to opt in or out.]

p.s. Adults: There are a few FAP slots open for the teen retreat. Adults who are interested in volunteering on Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday, please contact Barbara Maloney.

PYM 2012 Annual Session

Daily Miracle, Epistles, Minutes and Reports

Epistles (Jump to section below)
Complete Report (Jump to section below)

Daily Miracle (AS Newsletter)

Epistles

Complete Package

2012 Registrars Report

PYM Annual Session 2012 Registrar Report (PDF file)

PYM Annual Session 2012

Registrars Report

Your Registrars wish to extend sincere thanks to Don Bean who got the on-line registration up and running very quickly. This was a big help and we plan on building and improving on this for next year. Please let us know if you have any feedback to contribute to this effort.

Also thanks to the Berkeley Meeting Registration Team, who offered sage advice based on their years of experience, in addition to their substantial efforts providing registration services.

We got advice also from former Registrars who helped on Monday to hand out nametags and manage the flow through the line. Thanks to all who helped!

Here are preliminary numbers (there may still be a few changes).

 

Age Number
0-5 5
6-12 15
13-18 30
Over 18 238
Total 288
Median 60
Mean 51

Thanks to many over the age of 18 providing educational information, we can also report that we are a very well educated group! We have many Masters, Post-docs, and PhDs among us!

Of course, as always, if you are here and still have not seen us, please do so! Also, don’t forget to turn in your name badge holder, as they are quite expensive and can be re-used. There are labeled boxes near the Dining Hall main entrance and in the registration area in Maple. You can keep the printed tag as a memento.

Love,

Your Registrars,

Sarah Tyrrell

Joyce Samati

2012 Statistical Report

2012 Statistical Report (PDF file)

Pacific Yearly Meeting Statistical Report – 2012

This report summarizes membership information within the constituent monthly meetings of Pacific Yearly Meeting (PYM) for the statistical year ending May 31, 2012.

There are 37 constituent Monthly Meetings. Twenty-four meetings are in College Park Quarterly Meeting (65% of the total), nine meetings are in Southern California Quarterly Meeting (27% of the total), and four meetings not affiliated with a Quarterly Meeting (Big Island, Honolulu, Guatemala, and Mexico City), which represent 7% of the membership.

There are 14 worship groups:

  • Sierra Foothills Worship Group, under the care of Delta Meeting
  • Southern Humboldt Worship Group, under the care of Humboldt Meeting
  • Friends House, Ukiah, and Lake County Worship Groups under the care of Redwood Forest Meeting
  • West Marin Worship Group, under the care of San Francisco Meeting
  • Las Vegas Worship Group, under the care of Inland Valley Friends Meeting
  • Conejo Valley and Whitleaf, under the care of Orange Grove Monthly Meeting
  • Ojai Worship Group, under the care of Santa Barbara Monthly Meeting
  • Maui, Kauai, and Molokai Worship Groups under the care of Honolulu Meeting
  • Oaxaca Worship Group under the care of Mexico City Meeting

Two Meetings have 100 or more members: Palo Alto, with 100, and Strawberry Creek with 106. Seven Meetings have 10 or fewer members: Fresno, Mendocino, Napa-Sonoma, Redding, Big Island, Guatemala, and Mexico City.

Overall membership within the Pacific Yearly Meeting has decreased by 27, for a total of 1,390, down from 1,417 last year.

Thirty-eight people joined by convincement, 41 members died, and 28 members were released or withdrew. Fifteen members transferred into Meetings, and 15 transferred out. Most transfers were between Meetings within Pacific Yearly Meeting.

Within the past 12 years, PYM member meetings were blessed with a high of 1,534 members (2004). The lowest number of members is in 2012.

A 10-year Year-over-Year view of PYM membership changes, and the number and types of changes per Meeting, will be available on the Pacific Yearly Meeting website here.

Respectfully submitted, Lee Knutsen, PYM Statistical Clerk

Report of the Committee to Nominate the Nominating Committee

Report of the Committee to Nominate the Nominating Committee 2012 (PDF link)

 August 18, 2012

Nominating Committee for 2012-13

9 members, 3 year terms, 6 years maximum

Term expiring in 2013

Tom Farley                 Palo Alto                 (2010)

Maia Wolff              Central Coast             (2010)

Elaine Emily         Strawberry Creek        (2010)            *

Term expiring in 2014

Stephen Matchett        San Francisco       (2011)

Muriel Strand                 Sacramento        (2012)            *

Maggie Hutchinson      Orange Grove      (2011)

Term expiring in 2015

David Barrows               San Diego            (2009)        Clerk        *

Carl Anderson         Strawberry Creek     (2011)            *

Henriette Groot         Central Coast         (2010)           *

*  Approved in Plenary IX of the Annual Gathering in 2012

Submitted by:

Jean Lester, convener

Jane Peers

Jim Summers

 

Unity With Nature Report to Annual Session 2012

Unity With Nature Report to Annual Session 2012  (PDF file)

Unity With Nature Committee

Report to Pacific Yearly Meeting

August 16, 2012

RENIE:

As the climate crisis visibly worsens, we have heard the analogy of our earth’s warming to the story of the frog in the pot of slowly warming water, not being aware of it coming to a boil and therefore not having any motivation to jump out to safety.  We are the frog, happy in our denial.  But I would prefer to offer another metaphor; this one would compare humanity’s situation to a slow-motion shark attack.  Yes, the shark approaches, we see it coming, 20 years ago.  Yes, its teeth are creating a pinching feeling to our leg; we feel it 9 years ago.  Ouch, the teeth have hit a nerve!  Etc.  You get the picture.  We will feel this climate crisis; for many the pain has already begun–some of us are for now comfortably cushioned, but in the end it will be very painful for all.

However, as we have become more aware, we have also become more prolific in words analyzing the problem.  We have learned that today’s slowly unfolding catastrophe is rooted in a long evolving history; as Louis Cox comments, a “kind of general unraveling of happiness, sovereignty, and well-being has been happening everywhere—a logical result of a system that values profits over people,” continuing, “global predatory economic forces continue to strengthen their grip, chewing up communities, cultures, local economies, and ecosystems.” (1) I would add to that the militarization, mis-named the “War on Terror,” that necessarily accompanies this industrial empire building and resource grabbing.

Quaker Earthcare Witness has been on the forefront of the earthcare movement, attending the UN climate summit Rio+20, disseminating stories of work plans, ideas and action to its subscribers (which I highly recommend all Meetings to become).  To be sure, the growing diversity of discourse is important for each of us to find our own path through this maze.  But we must also collaborate as a community for any of these voices to be heard.

MAIA:

At this point we would like to mention the work of PYM’s own Unity With Nature Committee. Its members are Susan Swanstrom from Redwood Forest, Nathan Helm-Berger from Grass Valley, Joe Morris from Santa Monica, Oliver Ryder from La Jolla, Muriel Strand from Sacramento, Maia Wolff (myself) from Central Coast, co-clerk, and Renie Wong Lindley, co-clerk from Honolulu.  We met once for an October planning retreat all together at a lovely and quirky Russian River home offered by our member Susan Swanstrom, where we outlined our goals for the year:

1.  We wished to support a greener PYM by offering information about climate change implications to the transportation and food options at the annual session.

2.  We wished to continue the mini-grant program, improving our criteria and evaluations, and encouraging local Meetings’ involvement in earthcare activities in local communities.  Please look at our table of homemade and homegrown “goodies” that our committee is offering as fundraising for the grants,

3.  We wished to encourage voices and stories of spiritual experiences in and of nature which speak deeply to Friends and strengthen our will to live in harmony with nature.

4.  We wished to deepen the discussion about Friends’ apprehension about our country’s dependence on nuclear power and other fossil fuels.  There is need to continue an exchange of ideas on how to handle temporary bridges of energy use and how to build sustainable futures.

The Unity With Nature Committee came together in monthly tele-conferencing with heartfelt concern for these issues but also, as is so common among Friends, with our own sometimes overwhelming responsibilities.  So, even though we achieved some degree of success in moving our goals forward, we remain hungry for time and for enlarging our community to do this necessary work.

1.  Member Muriel Strand updated our Unity With Nature list of liaison contacts with monthly meetings, and sent a letter to each contact or clerk expressing interest in developing meeting or online discussions on earthcare topics.  We thought to expand the conversation from a concern about nuclear energy to include the question of our ideal and sustainable future. Pursuant to the minute on nuclear power that was offered at last year’s annual session, the Grass Valley Friends Meeting had a threshing session on nuclear energy.  The participants concluded that the problem is that there is no safe way to dispose of nuclear waste.  This was fundamental to their opposition to energy from nuclear reactors.   They also agreed that the nuclear power industry must be honest about safety.  Other alternative energies should be explored and funded first.  Most importantly–everyone, our whole country, needs to take the idea of simplicity to heart.

2.  As part of our continuing focus on furthering dialog, we sent members Joe Morris, Maia Wolff and QEW clerk Shelley Tanenbaum to the annual QEW session and offered three interest groups here at the annual session. “Food for Thought, Food for Body, Food for Spirit, Food for Earth” was presented by Maia Wolff on Tuesday,  “What is Our Ideal and Sustainable Future” presented by Muriel Strand on Wednesday, and “Unity with Nature and Quaker Mysticism” will be offered by Eric Sabelman tonight.

3.  We were able to contribute small amounts of funds to Central Coast, Grass Valley, Redding, and Casa de los Amigos for their earthcare projects.  Casa de los Amigos is using the money toward the purchase of a “flash boiler” (a hot water heater that heats on demand) for the women’s dormitory.  Grass Valley has already produced its graphic educational exhibit, “What will happen in California when Earth’s Temperature Rises 2 Degrees Celsius?” which is available for viewing here at PYM.  Redding Friends Meeting is using their mini-grant to purchase seeds for planting in their Sequoia School Community Garden Project, with which they have been actively involved for a number of years.  Central Coast Friends Meeting is looking forward to working with One Cool Earth, connecting with the Unitarian community, and with Friends and students, in rebuilding a shed and planting at Tenbrook Community Garden.

4.  Thank you to Carl Magruder for coordinating the bicycle riders coming to Walker Creek.  And we continued our interest in what food is offered to participants here at the PYM annual session.  We are fortunate to have choices, and grateful for the good healthy food offered here.

RENIE:

We eat our healthy food in the shadow of worldwide droughts and floods already having a devastating effect on people with limited resources.  Now today what many call “food” is a product of a mono-cultural factory, a mega-business that results in two things; de-natured food plus toxic waste.  As even these “food” prices soar, unrest is brought on by hardship and competition for livelihoods.  We join in the concern for the peoples’ health and troubles.  How do we rise to meet this challenge, bearing on us from all sides; a forecast of a fearful future?

Let’s go back to the quote from Louis Cox and the question of how we got from there to here.  For at least 1200 years Western civilization has been conditioned to believe that humans are separate and distant from the environment in which they live.  We have failed to acknowledge that the environment is our primary source of wealth.  In other words, the human economy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the earth’s economy.  But let us take this a step further.  Not only does all our wealth come from the earth, but all our health does too.  As they say, “You are what you eat.”  “You are what you breathe.”  Our bodies and our well-being are also a wholly-owned subsidiary of earth’s economy.

We Friends have the resources to be able to make healthy choices.  We eat non-GMO organic food when possible, we get to “retire” to spots of wilderness where we can get away from busy lives and quiet the turmoil of our minds.  We are able to make a “space within a space”, an oasis for ourselves and our spiritual communities.  But what if we were to redefine these little spaces of the natural world that give us so much spiritual sustenance?  Rather than “getting away from it all,” or “finding our balance” we look to nature to see her balancing act, and to see how completely and crucially we are interconnected with that balance.  Not just admiring nature, walking, hiking and bicycling everywhere, Unity With Nature needs to be redefined as true inner-connectedness.  Nature, our Earth, is as much inside us as our sense of the divine exists within us.  We rise and fall on her health, her “balancing act.”  Our inner Light relies on the Light of Creation.

There are huge forces relentlessly changing Earth from a fruitful to a barren land.  We recognize our part of the problem, and make steps to keep our footprint small.  We tackle some issues, such as water scarcity, fracking, toxic waste, etc.  But let’s not be too self-congratulatory.  By separating our “do-good” communities from others we fall into an “oasis” mentality.  Don’t forget, nature needs diversity and inclusiveness.  For all our attempts to find the easy way out, our nation is filled with very unhappy people.  Just as we find the well-being of our Quaker community to be dependent on diversity and inclusiveness, let’s embrace Earth’s appeal for multiplicity and interdependence.  Not just summer skies, but drought and disasters.  Not just bounty, but famine.  Embrace the whole divinity.  Let’s redefine happiness.  Not just the absence of difficulties.  What if happiness is true Unity With Nature, manifesting her energies in our lives?  Finding the meaning of love, gratitude, and spiritual growth in our work for Earth’s well-being?

The Earth needs our voice.  Discernment for what is true, what is right, is made at her feet.

 

(1) Louis Cox, review of The Economics of Happiness, BeFriending Creation, Vol.25, No.1

Welcome to JYM 2012 – What to Bring

Welcome to JYM – What to bring (PDF file)

JYM – What to Bring

Hey everybody! It’s time for Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) already, and we’re super excited for another amazing year together. We, the JYM committee, would love to extend a warm welcome to all who are planning on attending JYM this year! This years co-clerks are Brenden Fagen, Rose Mackenzie, and Thomas Rios.

JYM has a range of ages from 13 to 18.  We have our own schedule and activities that are going to be a blast! We have amazing activities planned by the JYM committee including Community building games, Capture the Flag, Ultimate Frisbee, Outdoor swim time, a service project at Petaluma Bounty Community Farm, Men’s and Women’s group and Respectful relationships and much much more. Through these activities and others we build a strong community that helps nurture the spiritual growth of the group as a whole with an emphasis on the inner light in everyone. We will take the time to develop agreements that reflect our Quaker testimony on community.  Since JYM is a part of PYM we do participate in many of the greater gathering’s activities including some plenaries, intergenerational games, and the all ages dance and community night.

Since JYM is a safe and close community we have found it important to have gender separated sleeping arrangements to allow for maximum fun and safety.  Please don’t bring any drug or alcohol.  We’re so looking forward to seeing everyone and having a great time as a community!

Packing List:

  • Sleeping Bag or sheets and blankets
  • Pillow & pillowcase
  • Towel (s) for showers and swimming
  • Toiletries, Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Swimsuit
  • Clothes fit for any weather- 6 days
  • Warm clothes for night
  • Pajamas
  • Hiking shoes
  • Shoes you don’t mind getting dirty for the service project
  • Casual shoes
  • Socks
  • Sunscreen
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Daypack
  • Flashlight
  • Clothes for the dance! (Barn themed)
  • Mp3 or Cd with music for the dance
  • Frisbee, cards, board games, etc.
  • Musical instruments
  • Idea’s for family night talent show- a skit?  poem? music?
  • Faith and Practice, Bible, other spiritual readings, Journal
  • Handwork for quiet times, knitting, friendship bracelet

Report of the Committee to Nominate the Nominating Committee 2012

Report of the Committee to Nominate the Nominating Committee 2012 (PDF file)

Report of the Committee to Nominate the Nominating Committee

August 11, 2012

Proposed Nominating Committee for 2012-13

 

9 members, 3 year terms, 6 years maximum

Term expiring in 2013

Tom Farley            Palo Alto            (2010)

Maia Wolff            Central Coast            (2010)

Slot to be filled

Term expiring in 2014

Stephen Matchett            San Francisco            (2011)

Muriel Strand            Sacramento            (2012)

Maggie Hutchinson            Orange Grove            (2011)

Term expiring in 2015

David Barrows            San Diego            (2009)            Clerk

 

Carl Anderson            Strawberry Creek            (2011)

Henriette Groot            Central Coast            (2010)

 

Names in italics need PYM approval.

Submitted by:

Jean Lester, convener

Jane Peers

Jim Summers

 

 

Finance Committee Report 2012

Finance Committee Report Annual Session 2012 (PDF file)

 PACIFIC YEARLY MEETING

RELIGIOUS SOCIETY OF FRIENDS

66TH ANNUAL SESSION (2012)

Finance Committee Report

Financial Review

A financial review was conducted.  Paul Diamond, a resident at Friends House, member of the Society of Friends, and retired CPA, conducted the Review.  Finance Committee found the Review to be thorough and helpful to our work.  Overall, there were no serious concerns, but there were numerous helpful suggestions.  Finance Committee has discussed and is working on implementing the recommendations.  If you are interested in receiving a copy of the review, please see the Finance clerk.  If you have further questions about the review, please attend the open Finance Committee meeting.

I would like to mention the implementation of one recommendation for accountability of Annual Session expenditures.  A Reimbursement Request, Annual Session Expenses form will need to be completed before payment can be made.  I have copies of the form and copies will also be in the Finance Committee folder.

Tax exempt status

Finance Committee determined that it would be helpful to PYM and member

Meetings for PYM to obtain an IRS determination letter that we are a

tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.  That request is in process. 

Finance Committee brings forward the following issues for consideration and approval:

1.  Request for budget augmentation

Finance Committee, Expense Account # 5225

Originally budgeted $1000.  Request for augmentation of $83 bringing total to $1083

Reason:  The budgeted amount was not sufficient to cover committee travel expenses.

2.  Budget proposal 2012-2013

 This is the first reading of the proposed budget.  There will be opportunity for questions and discussion at the open Finance Committee meeting.  The budget will be brought forward for approval in another Plenary later in the Annual Session.

Finally, PYM Officers, Clerks and Representatives are reminded to complete the required form for their travel reimbursement.  The form will be available near the Meeting Folders.

 

Submitted by,

Donna Smith

Clerk, PYM Finance Committee

 

 

State of the Meeting Reports 2012

State of the Meeting Reports 2012 (PDF file)

STATE OF THE MEETING REPORTS

2012

Ministry and Oversight Committee has received State of the Meeting Reports from nearly all of the Monthly Meetings throughout our Pacific Yearly Meeting and has identified some of the themes and highlights that these Meetings have in common.  It has been a delight to read these reports to get a sense of our Yearly Meeting as a whole.

 There is much joy in deep, centered Meetings for Worship.  Whether a Meeting is large or small, it is clear that it is part of our human condition both to love one another deeply and to be challenged by our differences of opinion.  With divine assistance we are able to return to the source of love and to experience healing.  Though some Meetings are growing, most of our memberships are growing older, and have fewer members with the energy to take on  the responsibilities of clerking and committee work.  It is cause to celebrate where there are vibrant children and teen programs as well as active outreach.

Below are some of the themes and highlights that we have found.  The State of the Meeting Reports will be available to be read in their entirety in the Quiet Room at the Annual Session.

 COLLEGE PARK QUARTERLY MEETING THEMES AND HIGHLIGHTS

 Worship:

There has definitely been a growth in the spiritual health of the meeting.  This last year saw the increase of small groups outside of Meeting for worship, such as study groups, worship groups and support groups.  The retreat on spoken ministry last fall was well attended.  Since that time there has definitely been an increase in the quality and quantity of ministry in meeting.  Central Coast

Silent worship is a foundation in our lives.  We benefit from the calm healing of this practice even on Sundays when we feel resistant to coming to meeting. Redding

Worshiping together means that we don’t have to face the spiritual journey as isolated individuals. We can (and must!) offer one another clarity and caution from the source that guides us all. Quaker spirituality is a process. It arises from the presence of the Divine within. It proceeds with the added clarity of a community. And it leads to outward expression in all aspects of our life. Sacramento

The depth of our corporate spiritual life was reflected not only in our weekly worship, but also by individuals in our Meeting who have particular calls to ministry in the wider world.  Several of these Friends have spoken of the support of individuals and the Meeting at large, through anchoring committees, as being central to their call to ministry. Strawberry Creek

Outreach & growth:

Redwood Forest Friends Meeting became a more active witness in the local community by joining a grass roots community-organizing project.  After a thorough search for and finding unity, this action has created much enthusiasm, brought members back into regular attendance and instilled a sense of accomplishment we could not have had alone as a Quaker Meeting. Redwood Forest

We are a greying community, the youngest of our members in their mid-50s. We have come to the realization that if we are to continue into the future as a viable Monthly Meeting we must address issues of future growth, which includes greater visibility. Apple Seed

Our meeting has been enjoying a growth spurt, in relative terms, as there are several regular attenders who’ve just started with us in the last twelve months.  At times our meeting room is barely large enough to hold us, but we like the space in   the COPE (Child Or Parent Emergency) Family Center building in the heart of Napa. We will continue to accommodate our expanding numbers, considering creative seating before thinking about moving to another site. Napa Sonoma

As a community, we are looking to find the appropriate relation between individual leadings and corporate action. What is our corporate leading to better the world? How can we give individuals support to fulfill their own sense of mission in the world without imposing that same mission on everyone in Meeting? We have had trouble recognizing “love and unity among us” to the extent that we think it means that everyone must be united on the same course of action. Palo Alto

In regards to our involvement in the community around us, this year marked the 10th anniversary in December of our witnessing for peace in a weekly vigils held here in Davis and in neighboring Woodland.  Davis Meeting continued its participation in the Davis Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter for a fifth year, providing space and volunteers for the shelter’s daily intake activities. Several of us participated in Davis’ annual interfaith Celebration of Abraham gathering with our Christian, Jewish, and Muslim brethren. Davis

Pacifism and tolerance are our reference points when examining issues from our spiritual community to global concerns. Mendocino

Caring for each other:

Specifically to promote community and spiritual growth within our meeting we had both fall and spring meeting retreats, Friendly Eights dinner and sharing groups, 4th Sunday lunches. There is also a weekly mindfulness meditation group. There have been several ongoing reading and study series including one on early Quaker writings, a caregivers support group, a Spiritual Formation reading group, a discussion/sharing series on “Salt and Light” (in preparation for 2012 FWCC gathering), and in early 2012 an offering of Quakerism 101. We are currently beginning to explore engagement with the Quaker Quest program. Palo Alto

Although Friends are deeply concerned about the difficulties posed by fewer active members and attenders, we also recognize that smallness has a positive side. It is easier for a small Meeting to encourage Friends to become friends – to become closer to one another as individuals and to pull visitors into the welcoming circle. The pleasure and optimism that comes from fulfilling personal relationships can enable us to bear Meeting responsibilities more cheerfully and effectively and produce an atmosphere that will attract new members and attenders. Humboldt

On the other hand, there are areas where Spirit is needed.  Redwood Forest Friends Meeting sometimes exhibits a sort of collective “amnesia”, where we forget about agreements and minutes approved, including some of the good order found in Faith & Practice.  While we try to be more patient with one another, listen more deeply, and labor together, there have been some tender Meetings for Business in which people have felt criticized.  Trust is fragile, and there are those who say they would not want to open themselves to a clearness process and/or avoid the discomfort of speaking plainly, and these can create a false sense of unity. Redwood Forest

We’ve seen strong community-building through our monthly intergenerational potlucks (with attenders from 5 to 90 years old); the well-attended, deep annual retreat at Quaker Center; the active community care coordinator role; the strong men’s group; the weekly

worship-sharing and study group; our monthly life-story telling gathering; and the informal care-giver support group. All these activities have fed our souls. Santa Cruz

Property & Resources:

Our Meetinghouse and Grounds committee has worked on many projects to make our meetinghouse safer and more welcoming, including adding clearer signage inside and out, updating landscaping and irrigation, and organizing several well-attended workdays. A special gift of the workdays was the presence of many individuals who volunteered alongside us from the other groups who use our meetinghouse, offering their skills and good cheer. Davis

There are a number of groups who rent our Meetinghouse for their activities including two Buddhist meditation groups, two spiritual dance groups, the Sacramento Recorders Society, East Sacramento Writers, Rug Hookers, Shape Note singers, and Clinical Social Workers.  Sacramento

Our Finance committee has worked diligently to put our financial house in order, increasing the transparency and integrity of our financial reports, creating a stewardship plan to cover ongoing maintenance costs for our Meetinghouse, and starting the process to move our mortgage from a private lender to FGC.We have slowly come to grips with the reduced energy and time that people have to devote to Meeting concerns. We have adjusted some of our committee structures and Meetings these days. Santa Cruz

Many expressed a sense of transition. Our decision processes have been severely tested over the issue of a potential land gift. Some expressed stress about the large responsibility resting on such a small Meeting. Many see this as a challenge and others as potential growth and learning. The uncertainty associated with a sense of transition has led some to a greater leaning towards the Light. The parallels between transition in the Meeting and transition in society were recognized. It was asked, “When are we not in transition?” Visalia

 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA QUARTERLY MEETING

THEMES AND HIGHLIGHTS

 Worship & Vocal Ministry:

Members and attenders hold a spectrum of views on the meaning of extended silence during Meeting for Worship. For some, the infrequent vocal ministry this year signifies dryness. Others appreciate bountiful silence as a sign that we are uniting at the spiritual level.  CMM

Most of the time, ours is a very silent meeting. Some of us miss hearing vocal ministry. MLBMM

The amount and quality of vocal ministry has improved.  Ministry in Meeting for Worship has brought insights that improved family relationships and personal peace. OCMM

A number of individuals spoke about the sense of the sacred they felt when in the Meeting House, and how in Meeting for Worship there was often a deep sense of the presence of the Spirit.. . . Some present felt that the Meeting would benefit from more vocal ministry during Meeting for Worship in order to enhance spiritual growth.  SBMM

For some, Meeting for Worship remains a source of sustenance, joy and pleasure in learning to accept others.  Other members felt a lack of eldering of messages, in particular for brevity and focus.  A lack of knowledge of Quaker practice was noted as a concern.  SMMM

Outreach and Growth:

The Meeting joined in unity on an important decision in the Spring of 2011 to take a more active role in the Reunión General de los Amigos en México. Although we’ve participated in gatherings held in the north of Mexico, it’s been 20 years since Mexico City has hosted the Gathering of Friends in Mexico. This coming June we will bring together pastoral and unprogrammed Friends from around the country to draw on our similarities and share our differences as we explore the theme of “Revelando la Luz Interior” (Revealing the Inner Light).  MCMM

Although we don’t move en masse in any one direction, members and attenders of LJMM actively pursue our own Leadings, and support the Leadings of others. For the first time, we joined the San Diego Pride Parade. We hosted the local International Rescue Committee at our La Jolla and San Diego Annual Retreat. The Occupy movement has energized many Friends. Our outreach has included extending lines of friendship to the local Muslim community as well as to others affected by our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We continued our individual and collective support for many other organizations and efforts locally and around the world. LJMM

Desiring to express social concern for the broader community, our Meeting has undertaken a project with Human Options, a domestic violence shelter, which permits us to help in different ways – collecting, transporting, storing, and organizing food for the pantry and other activities. OCMM

Successful community outreach programs continued, including the breakfast program for our neighbors who are homeless, and the 5th First Day evening meals prepared by Meeting committees at the Union Station Homeless Services in Pasadena.  Supporting the Afghan Girls School in Pakistan and Casa de Los Amigos in Mexico continue as projects of the meeting. Friends Western School (a parent co-op) is thriving on our campus with increasing numbers of students, and meets regularly with our consultation committee. Meeting began providing rent-free space this year to the Centro de Educacion del Pueblo, a local organization that provides tuition-free ESL and Spanish literacy classes.  The Wisdom Arts Laboratory, now in its fifth year, offers children’s classes and inter-generational programming that connect the arts, nature, and community awareness.  Our space is also used by Planned Parenthood and six Alcoholic Anonymous groups.  Whether they are projects of the meeting, or they simply share our space, Friends support these programs, and plan to continue such outreach this year. OGMM

The teens joined the adults for opening worship, made introductions among one another and then arranged transportation to the service project site. This service project was to help clear the area for the future Inland Valley Friends Meeting. Seven teens from five Meetings, six adults from Inland Valley, two adults skipping out on plenary, one new FAP and one Youth Program Coordinator cleared old tires, a door and a mountain of weeds, tumbleweeds, tree branches, trash and drank a few gallons of strawberry lemonade. While working each teen asked a person they had not met about each other’s “heart’s desire.”  SCYPC

Looking forward:

Having settled in to our new location, our goals for this next year are to strengthen our fellowship, grow spiritually and continue to explore ways to invite and engage new people to our worship group. CVWG

We are concerned about the diminishing size of our community, and see that we want to reach out to newcomers, as well as to those who may have drawn away.  Filling committee positions was a struggle, and some committees, including Ministry and Worship, were under that handicap all year.   SMMM

We are concerned about the diminishing size of our community, and see that we want to reach out to newcomers, as well as to those who may have drawn away.  SMMM

Recovering:

Claremont Monthly Meeting is healing from a difficult period. This year we endeavored to practice simplicity, integrity and equality while seeking (and finding) healthier ways of expressing our differences of opinion. “Conflict is like breathing,” states one member. Another adds, “When we see the possibilities of goodness in one another, even our ongoing conflicts can be addressed in ways that build up the community rather than tearing it down.” To reduce misunderstandings and mistrust, we focused on basics during 2011, exploring “What happens for each of us in silent worship?” and “What do we do when asked to hold someone in the Light?” CMM

Our community continues to heal from the tears in our own fabric, even as we are aware of our need to be a presence for healing in our world. We are struggling – both with the personal needs of individuals, and with the need to rebuild our community. We now have a greater sense of turning to spiritual guidance for our healing, seeking help from the Source.   LJMM

Meeting for Worship on the Occasion of Business is at the heart of Quakerism, but we don’t seem to project that; many don’t attend and there is often tension between process and goal.   OCMM

Connections with worship groups:

We were delighted to receive news of a budding Worship Group in Oaxaca and feel honored that both this new group and a more established Worship Group in San Miguel de Allende would like to be held in our care.  MCMM

We enjoyed a May visit from Friends of Orange Grove and Santa Barbara Meetings for a Meeting for Worship and a potluck at one Friend’s home. After the meal we had a Meeting for Worship on the occasion of business where we explored how to grow our meeting. Many ideas were suggested but the consensus was that the Spirit is still present with a small number of Friends.

We joined Santa Barbara Meeting and Ojai Worship Group at a day retreat at Channel Islands Harbor in September. We found this rewarding and fun. We appreciated the invitation to take part in this mini cluster.  CVWG

Some members and attenders have begun to regularly visit the Ojai Worship Group to maintain a closer bond, and others have reported on their travels to other places or events to the benefit of the whole. SBMM

Highlights:

We are reminded that the core of all we do is in worship.

Seeking that of God in each of us will continue to build a family that cares both about each other and about the family of the world. Life is fragile, and sometimes it seems we can do little to meet the many needs of others.  IVMM

Our meeting has settled into rental space over the past several years, however, with a generous grant from PYM and a gift of additional funds we now find ourselves owners of a 2.1 acre lot with the intent to design and build a permanent Meeting Home.  We face many unknowns as we go forward; adherence to Quaker Process in Meetings for Business helps to insure that all voices can be heard. IVMM

We are delighted to have a teenage attender who comes fairly frequently with his step-grandpa. He has expressed a desire to join Friends. His youth has been a shot in the arm for us. His younger brother also attended for a time last year. MLBMM

During the teen program at Southern California Quarterly Meeting (SCQM) Spring 2012, we came to unity to change the name from Quaker Adventures to Southern California Youth Planning Committee. This committee will now serve two purposes: the first to plan the teen program at Southern California Quarterly Meeting, and the second to plan other events for all ages throughout the year. We are asking for the Southern California Retreat Committee, the College Park Quarterly Meeting Teen Planning Committee and the Youth Program Coordinator and Supervisory Committee to be resources to us. We appreciate Nominating Committee for selecting youth and adults for The Southern California Youth Planning Committee and ask them to continue doing so. SCYPC